Jul. 7th, 2012

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There are many things. Many things. What to do. With all the things.

So I found a free site that lets you make family trees. So I finally put an end to rescribbling new Fire Nation royal family trees all over the notebook I'm trying to use for LSAT scrap and answer sheets... and getting annoyed because I keep doing it and it just... fails. So that's done. And it's interesting. And organized. And pretty. And I'm better aware of what's what and what needs to go where and what I don't have. And I found the "family tree" the Embers author posted. And it's not that ground-breaking. At the time, Shidan and Ran hadn't been introduced, Roku's son isn't on the chart, and the Mei and Wen connections aren't there so... eh.

So the "Once Upon a Time" creators announced some interesting things today. One of them was that there will be a character playing Aurora, Disney's version of Sleeping Beauty, in season 2. So that story will be used, which is nice. I still consider it to be Disney's prettiest animated story. The second thing they announced was that there will be an actress portraying Mulan. That will be interesting in SO many ways. One of which involves the fact that, if Mulan is slated, that opens other stories Disney used that are based in our world like Tarzan (Africa/England circa WWIish), Robin Hood (England during the Crusades), Treasure Island (admittedly, Treasure Planet is either in the far future or on some other world or whatever,  but they do have the story and they can always just go back and use the original story, which took place in really old England), the Sword in the Stone (old England sometime), Peter Pan (pre WWII England; they already have fairies, there is SO much availability for this story - plus, where do Faeries come from? Are there male faeries?)... and maybe others I can't think of. Honestly, they can have lots of fun with it.

So that's all cool.

And then there was the announcement that they're going to CREATE A NEW SAILOR MOON ANIME MORE CLOSELY BASED ON THE MANGA IN 2013 ALL THE FEELSALLTHEFEELSALLTHEFEELSOMGOMGOMGOMG!!!!

An anime that isn't Americanized! A full dub! An accurate sub! A series released FULLY in the US! A series that sticks to the original story, minus fluff! Not made for little kids (with toy merchandizing and stupid comedy and stuff)... with new animation! Not old 90s animation! Gods above... one of the best things about ThunderCats isn't the story (although that's probably the 2nd best thing); it's the NEW ANIMATION! Animation in the 90s was evolving! It was important! In its own way, it was amazing and REALLY REALLY important for the animation revolution. And who doesn't get that nostalgic heart tug when they see the Scooby Gang run past the same doorway ten times in 30 seconds, you know?

I have to wonder what will change. Because despite "FMA: Brotherhood's" attempts to rectify the failures of the original FMA series by staying eerily close to the source material, it still deviated (possibly to avoid creating the EXACT same thing, which would have been "oh, been there, done that, don't need to buy it again"). I doubt it would be anything TRULY significant. Technological differences will probably be there. The story will probably take place in 2011-13ish, and not, what... 1992? There will be flatscreen TVs and street cameras, and up-to-date cars, and maybe MP3 players, cellphones, CDs/downloads rather than VHS tapes and whatnot... Which is only a problem when they try to do the Dark Video storyline and Amy's storyline. Computers will be smaller and prettier. I have no idea what they'll do with the arcade... but maybe it'll still be there.

Which makes me wonder what differences will happen with the senshi themselves. For instance, there was a big hullaballoo over the use of computers in the original manga. -le gasp- If the story were updated and took place in Japan today... things would be REALLY different. You can't detach people from cellphones in the US? It's nigh impossible to find a current anime where EVERY SINGLE TEENAGER/PERSON possesses and frequently uses one throughout the story. Whether to text, check the time, make a phone call, demonstrate a plot device keychain... you name it!

Which means that Umino's character may get updated. Sure, he can still be a really nerdy character (which is odd... considering Japan's constant focus on SMART characters in their schools - Usagi's complete failure at everything is really pathetic, given their cultural focus on intelligence and doing your best for advancement through life)... but he would have to be far more technological. He'd probably be one of those guys who carries around an iPad or a laptop, even in Middle School. Or a really advanced cellphone where he can, I don't know, hack foreign websites using some app he invented in his spare time.

I don't know what I'll think if they don't update the story. I know that it wouldn't be the same... but honestly, I would still cringe if they stuck to what was. Sticking to what the plot was originally while updating it to fit into modern day culture and technology can WORK. After all, they didn't simply take the old Thundercats and redraw it for ThunderCats. Nor did they do that with the most recent He-Man adaptation. They CHANGED THE STORY! They kept most of the same elements, but they changed it to fit current audiences and culture and society.

And honestly, not much would change in the long run. Most of the story is about character relationships and, well... the power of friendship and magic (or really, really advanced technology, as it's hinted at).

In fact, creating an anime more closely related to the manga and getting rid of the changes made in the original anime is good on all sorts of levels relating to this. A lot of the information and story lines introduced in the original Sailor Moon anime was a ridiculous heap of nonsensical, just plain WRONG "science". They used things like "evil sunspots" and "constellations controlling people's fates" and it just UGH! Plus, the anime would be a LOT shorter if it stuck to the original manga (admittedly, they could really expand it if they wanted without trying). It would get rid of a lot of those stupid fluff stories, like the ones that take place in a radio station, book store scenes, just... things that show off how 90s the story was.

No, the manga isn't perfect. Don't even... don't get me started. I have that ENTIRE rant saved. All what... 19 pages or so of it. A list of every issue I can think of concerning the MANGA, not the anime.

So let's think about it... Usagi's character may be, well... not so completely unintelligent as she was turned into during the original anime. If you read the manga (and I promise you, I've reread the complete original manga at least thirty times - it is undoubtedly the longest series, as well as series period that I have reread the most), you will note that she is not entirely vacant as an individual. Lazy, easily distracted, ADHD, procrastinator, overzealous fangirl, maybe not a good test taker, and no rocket scientist, and possibly a little slow on the uptake... but not completely stupid. As the series went along, she went from the beginning of the series, where she was terrified at the sight of a minor monster, to a few chapters later where she was jumping in front of her friends to protect them from harm. And this was all in the first arc! She learned bravery! She was, as Galaxia said, 'a scout who loves all'. That is nothing to look askance at. She was willing to hold to her bosom an enemy who was mostly responsible for the death of her friends, her lover/future husband, future child, and everything she held dear, really... because it was the decent thing to do. Because she felt a bond. Because they were senshi. Usagi overcame some big hurdle in her life every single arc. In the first, she overcame her fear. In the second arc, she overcame jealousy (at least mostly), and gained quite a bit of bravery and self-respect. In the third arc, she reached out to others and grew quite powerful. She learned about hope. In the fourth arc, she grew up quite a bit and firmly accepted her responsibility. Usagi appears so adult and strong in that arc. It twists your heart in knots. In the fifth arc, she suffers a tragedy - she watches the man she loves be disintegrated. Who wouldn't that shatter? But she overcomes that. She goes to take back what is hers. She is so powerful and strong and brave, and, at the end, she sacrifices it all the save all of creation. This is a story about growing up, and that's what she does. And she does it a lot faster than her goofball original anime self does.

I'm not expecting them to make her smarter. But they'll take a lot of the stupidity in the story.

Some things that'll come out in an updated Sailor Moon, staying closer to the manga source material?

For starters: the idea that Usagi isn't a COMPLETE bubble-head. Or coward. Or whatever. That monster the anime turned her into.

Ami as a girl with some secrets and some deep, deep sadness.

Rei... Rei's character is quite dark in the manga. The short story Casablanca was never animated. We never met her father, never learned about her mother. Her grandfather was purely comedy relief, never the tragic character he was hinted at being (like most people, really). She was shallow and annoying in the anime. While it was greatly toned down in the actual version (not the Americanized piece of ****)... it was still bad. All those silly storylines they made where Rei and Usagi were fighting over Mamoru and getting into competitions and what not... Rei in the manga, well... she was deep, focused, trained as a miko... She had this idea of great age about her. All the senshi did. They had their moments where they were incredible protective and mothering of Usagi. Otherwise, they could be incredible playful and drawn in by her aura. 'Wrapped by her light', as Haruka commented. And Rei is rather terrifying in her own right.

Makoto, as a girl with loss. A woman with a lot of strength and power. A woman with a lot of skill in fighting, baking, cleaning... someone who's traveled, who knows people (and doesn't). I mean... she's stereotypes and Japanese sexism and, well... I wish they'd update her character, but then she wouldn't be Makoto. Just like updating Ami would be strange, because part of her prestige was the mere idea that she could use computers. Although her high IQ, vast intelligence, study skill... and so on (she wants to be a doctor, after all) kind of make up for that. Although it's kind of weird, because from what I know, Japanese doctors don't earn much. Healthcare is cheap there. Being a doctor isn't a profession you get rich on there. I could be wrong, and maybe that was mainly put in as a way to attract an American audience (which was a decent money market back then for Japanese animation)... but I dunno.

Heck, they ALL have tragedy in their lives! They're not just bouncy balls of adrenaline waiting to go to the arcade or whatever. They have school work and family issues and so on. They're PEOPLE. Not kid show caricatures.

This is way too long. And I'm overpraising this manga. It would be so amazing to see it reanimated. Whatever they choose, as long as they try to pull of what it sounds like they're doing (what Brotherhood tried to do and accomplished, really) - stick closer to the manga, and with new animation, to boot... well, they'll do great.

Night.

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